The Ins and Outs of Garden Rooms

Whether you're considering constructing a garden room for work, play, study or hobbies, there's lots that can be done with a new space outside – and Refresh Renovations can help you achieve it!

A garden pod for sitting and reading and relaxing in

Garden rooms are growing in popularity as homeowners seek somewhere to go that embraces their outdoor spaces but gives a different feel to the home they live in day after day; and after extended stay-at-home orders, a little break is most welcome. Whether you’re considering constructing a garden room for work, play, study or hobbies, there’s lots that can be done with a new space outside – and Refresh Renovations can help you achieve it!
A garden building

Do you need foundations for a garden room?

Gardens are easily damaged and so strong and solid foundations are usually required for any structure to be erected; unless it’s intended for use on an extremely temporary basis. Many renovation and building companies will include the laying of foundations in their price for a garden room, but if they don’t, a builder can be hired to do the job standalone. A flat and level surface should be created out of paving slabs or concrete and should be no less than 10cm thick. At least 50cm clearance will be needed around fencing, walls or trees.

How much do garden rooms cost, on average?

It’s difficult to provide an average cost for a garden room because they vary so much in size and scope – for example, a basic seating area for al-fresco dining or traditional summerhouse will be tiny with minimal furnishing compared to a home office set-up, dedicated professional workshop or bar area with toilet facilities. The lowest end of the spectrum comes in at about £700 for a summerhouse with a custom garden room including electricity and plumbing costing anything up to £60,000.
A garden outbuilding

Do garden rooms require lots of maintenance?

A professionally built garden room will be constructed in a way that aims to protect it from the elements, as the design will revolve around it being a specific outdoor space. A minimal amount of maintenance is required – usually a wipe down of the exterior with warm soapy water once a year will suffice for dirt removal and a fresh coat of paint once every few years to keep things looking fresh. A rake around the garden room to keep long grass and leaves at bay will also help the exterior walls stay cleaner for longer.

Are home offices the most popular usage option for a garden room now?

With more people than ever working from home, it’s really no surprise that demand for home offices in garden rooms are at all-time high – particularly as so many employers now recognise the benefits of productivity and lowered costs involved, and so are allowing their workers to take this on permanently. Modern conservatories are frequently being converted internally into home offices but a full separate garden room allows for homeowners to really feel a sense of walking away from the workplace at the end of the day, shutting the door on it and returning to their house. This promotes a good work-life balance, which is often difficult to maintain when your home and office merge into one! Security in home office garden rooms is paramount and there are now numerous solutions to keep your equipment safe even when removed from the main body of the house.

Can I build a garden room even in a small garden?

There is a common misconception that garden rooms are an addition exclusive to those with large gardens but in fact, where outdoor space is small, the installation of a garden room can better utilise the area than would be achieved with keeping it grassed or paved. Usually, the end of the garden furthest away from the house is the best place for a garden room, so that it faces opposite to the back of the home; but the space can be worked with however is appropriate.
A garden patio area with outdoor seating

What are more subtle options for a garden room than a full structure?

A garden room doesn’t need to be a large wooden building and could instead just be an open seating area. This option still provides somewhere separate to the main home for people to spend time in and can be styled with wraparound bench seats with lift-up lids for the storage of throws or cushions for cooler weather. There are plenty of weather-proof seating products on the market now and even the smallest of features set away from the house makes a great place for drinks, reading a book or just sitting and contemplating life amongst greenery! Garden tents are also a popular choice for temporary garden rooms, providing shade in the summertime with the option to remove it whenever desired. In good weather, a glamping-esque tent can even be used as an extra bedroom for guests.

I still need the storage my shed provides. What can I do?

There are now a few options of pre-built garden rooms alongside unlimited bespoke designs that are split between a functional area (often a living room) with shed-type storage. These structures tend to look just as a wooden garden room would but have a planked area that hides a storage area within.

Do portable garden rooms exist?

Country-style shepherd’s huts are a fantastic option for homeowners who want a garden room but are expecting to move property in the future. Available in a wide variety of pre-built shapes and sizes (as well as anything bespoke if custom designed), most huts come fully insulated and are often furnished with wired electrics, beds, kitchenettes and wood-burning stoves. Shepherd’s huts like this are popular on short-term holiday let websites such as AirBnb but are also a great choice for those who’d like a garden room they can take with them if and when they relocate elsewhere. 
The great outdoors is certainly great, but the Great British weather… often not so. A garden room can curate a beautiful balance between the outdoors and in, inspiring and innovating for homeowners lucky enough to have a space for one. 

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